Rotting Christ – Pro Xristoy (Α)

You are currently viewing Rotting Christ – Pro Xristoy (Α)

Year: 2024
Total Time: 55.17
Label: Season of Mist

ROTTING CHRIST needs no special introduction. This is the biggest and most successful Greek Metal band worldwide, without any doubt! After five whole years and the album “Heretics”, they return with their 14th full-length album, “Pro Xristoy” (“Before Christ”), which contains 10 new songs (+ two bonus tracks in the special edition). Sakis Tolis continues to be in full control of the band, being responsible for the vocals, music, lyrics and final production while his brother, Themis Tolis, continues to serve as ROTTING CHRIST’s rear guard on drums! Kostas Foukarakis (guitar) and Kostas Heliotis (bass) complete the band in the live performances. In “Pro Xristoy” we meet a number of guest musicians such as: Androniki Skoula (vocals), Nikos Kerkyras (keyboards) and Christina Alexiou, Maria Tsironi, Alexandros Loiziotis, Vassilis Karatzas (choirs) as well as Andrew Liles Kim Diaz Holm in some recitals .

“Pro Xristoy” serves as a fervent tribute to the last pagan kings who resisted the onslaught of Christianity, protecting their ancient values and knowledge. The album contains many Heavy tunes combined with Black Metal outbursts (aka ROTTING CHRIST signature elements), delivered in an epic manner that respects the band’s 35-year legacy.

We will start from the fantastic cover which is the well-known and beautiful painting by the American Thomas Cole entitled “The Destruction (of the Empire)” with the year of creation estimated in 1836. Of course it refers to 455 AD and not “before Christ”. At this point I should note that such a big band like ROTTING CHRIST and also such a big label like Season of Mist should search more so that they don’t use a cover that other bands have already used in the past (I found at least 6 bands with the same cover). Some of them are the Greeks DOOMOCRACY and more recently the Germans HEAVEN SHALL BURN on their 2020 single ‘Protector’….

Musically speaking, the band follows the form it adopted in 2007 and the legendary “Theogonia”. Lyrical guitars (mainly slow/rhythmic), Black/Heavy Metal the Greek “old-school” way, with very simple forms full of melodies and backgrounds from choirs, keyboards, samples and many other elements taken mainly from the Greek tradition, but also from other cultures. Such examples are the songs “The Apostate” and “Ygdrassil”, two of the best tracks on the record, in which ROTTING CHRIST delve into the legacies of historical figures such as Flavius Claudius Julianus and Norse mythological kings, embodying the power of pagan wisdom in face of Christianity. Despite this, the musical influences still come from the Greek tradition. In this release, we will find many common elements Sakis Tolis’ solo album “Among The Fires Of Hell”, an expected fact, since some of the songs were probably intended to be used on his project. Of course, there are many elements from the albums “Rituals” and “Aealo” with the most characteristic song “La Lettera Del Diavolo” which I consider to be shocking! A song that moves to inconceivable synthetic heights, heights that only ROTTING CHRIST can reach! Ti is without doubt the strongest composition of the album, with the vocals of Androniki Skoula taking it off! The rest of the songs are all of very high standards, with none lagging behind. But the big surprise comes towards the end of this record with the first of the bonus tracks, “Primal Resurrection”. A song with many RC old school vibes, an era that everyone misses. For me it’s the second most beautiful song of the record, I think the reason it’s included as a bonus track is that it doesn’t fit in the general style of the album. The same happens with the second bonus track entitled “All For One”.

In summary, “Pro Xristoy” is a very good ROTTING CHRIST’s album! Definitely better than “Heretics” and on par with what they’ve been doing since “Theogonia”. Let’s highlight the professional recording done at Deva Sounds Studios by Fotis Benardo. The mixing and mastering was done at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden by Jens Borgen and the result is excellent! Pre-orders for the new album will start in February 2024 while “Pro Xristoy” will be released on 24th May 2024 by Season Of Mist.

One thing is for sure after all this: ROTTING CHRIST will never let us down!!

Rating: 8/10
Editor: Dimitris Argyrakis
Related Link Rotting Christ – Official Site

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